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Telling The Whole Story About Tony Romo

Jason Garrett and Tony Romo

The Tony Romo saga is done; at least for now. Although he left the door a smidge open, it appears as though Romo will no longer play football, instead he will now talk about it for a living. To tie a bow on everything, there is no need to rehash the Romo statistics or everything else you can easily find online.

Instead, here are just a few of the things people rarely remember about the Dallas Cowboys under Romo. Main things the talking heads on television never care to mention when they tell the story of the best statistical quarterback in the history of America’s Team.

Let’s start with a classic, he was better than Eli Manning, not up for debate either.

The per-game stats bear it out, fairly obviously too, that Romo was a better player. The team and coaching was never around Romo the way it was for Eli, and that is a shame. Unfortunately for Romo, he didn’t have any lucky helmet catches to guide his legacy, instead, he got a terrible call on what would have been a huge catch by Dez Bryant. Called properly, the Cowboys likely win that game and play the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Championship game, which my gut tells me Dallas wins. No such luck for Romo.

Along similar lines, Romo got crushed for losing the playoff game against the Giants. Blaming the Cabo trip is easy, but no one ever brings up had Patrick Crayton just caught the easy pass across the middle in the third quarter, he might still be running. The Cowboys would’ve scored points on that drive and taken control of the game. It was one of the biggest plays in the game, but all media types remember is that Romo lost, not that his teammates didn’t help.

However, it wasn’t even the biggest botched play by Crayton in the game. On the final drive, Romo was setup to be the hero when he threw a perfect pass down the right sideline to Crayton in the waning seconds. Ball placement was perfect, the receiver had his man beat, and Crayton inexplicably pulled up on the route. A missed opportunity for Romo to be the hero, a missed chance for the Cowboys to advance and all you heard after the game was how Romo choked (again) after he threw a desperation interception on the next play.

No one, ever, remembers that play, except perhaps hardcore Cowboys fans. The media types will never replay that or tell the full story of that game or of that play. It sunk the Cowboys and pushed Romo further into the ‘choker’ role.

And the choker stigma cropped up because Romo bobbled a snap in his first playoff game in Seattle. However, no one mentions there was 1:19 left on the clock and Seattle still could have won the game late, they only needed a field goal. Or that Bill Parcells coached scared in that game, refusing to attack a severely undermanned Seahawks secondary.

Romo would never relinquish that moniker either. Not even as he led the NFL in game winning drives from 2006-2014. Not even as he won games with terrible teams, or as he had one of the best fourth quarter passer ratings in the history of the game.

Instead, people will remember Romo losing, not the team, in two straight ‘win and in’ situations. Only to forget that Romo played with basically a broken thumb against the Giants in one of those games. Or that Miles Austin lost a ball in the lights in a game that would’ve propelled the Cowboys to the playoffs a few weeks earlier.

But across most media outlets, none of this will be remembered. Instead, they’ll harp on everything that Romo didn’t do. About how he shrunk in so many big situations.

For those that truly believe that, ask a simple question, without taking more than a minute or two, list the games that Tony Romo choked away. As a fan of the team, I can name about six that we can put on Romo. SIX, in roughly 10 years as a quarterback, and not all in ‘big games,’ yet this is what so many describe as a choker, even to some who cover the team.

Tony Romo wasn’t without his flaws and he did have some rough moments, but no more than any quarterback who plays at such a high level in the NFL. The way he’ll be remembered by most is a shame. He wasn’t a choker and in many ways he saved a Cowboys team headed down a dark path after Troy Aikman retired. Quarterbacks with a 61% winning percentage, four Pro Bowls and top five All-time passer ratings aren’t losers.

It just never clicked all at once for Tony Romo. No tuck rule or helmet catches helped him, instead, he got the tough end of the stick on most occasions. That’s life, as they say, for Romo.

But he kept coming back, through all the jokes and the tough breaks, through all the pain of punctured lungs and broken bones, he played on. And persevered.

That’s how I’ll remember Tony Romo, as a player who was unfairly criticized and rarely was the whole truth told about him. He deserved much better than he got, but he smiled through almost all of it.

Cheers to an amazing career for an undrafted played! And for a quarterback who is better than Eli Manning.

You can chat with or follow Ben on twitter @BenGrimaldi

Ben Grimaldi

Ben Grimaldi

Senior Analyst ProFootBallTalkLine.com at SportsTalkLine
Writer for ProFootBallTalkLine.Com. Associate sports producer. Lets talk sports! On Twitter @BenGrimaldi and Podcasting for STL!
Ben Grimaldi





  • McShrek

    http://www.nfl.com/videos/dallas-cowboys/0ap3000000797434/Every-Tony-Romo-4th-quarter-comeback

    http://www.nfl.com/videos/dallas-cowboys/0ap3000000798074/Romo-My-kid-cried-when-I-told-him-I-was-retiring

  • McShrek

    Well stated Ben……………as it turned out he became my favorite Cowboy player mostly due to the unfavorable coverage he received during his many seasons…………have a strong suspicious that Jerry’s off season behavior will once again come back to bite the 2017 team……..we shall see…………just saw a clip form Marcus Spears on Romo….”with him back there, we went into EVERY game with a chance to win”…………high praise indeed

    • Ben Grimaldi

      Curious about what you mean when you say Jerry’s off-season behavior will come back to bite the 2017 team?

      • McShrek

        Jerry promised Romo he would be released the minute FA started, then he totally backtracked on that commitment when he found out that the Texans would be very interested by trading away Ostweiler; i would not be surprised that he placed a call into CBS to become more aggressive in courting Romo, even offering some incentive to them (he serves on one of the most powerful committees of the NFL) ………..how could they do that to Phil Simms ( i was not even aware that he was expendable, did you?) after 14 years next to Nantz?

        Not sure if you ever caught this, but saw an interiew with Wade Phillips a few years back where he was asked about the drafting protocols during his tenure, he was about to criticize Jerry openly as to how they ran their drafts when he was the HC, then during
        the interview he stated that Jerry had lent him his plane in order to facilitate a family emergency (which escapes me at the moment, maybe his father’s passing?), and abruptly changed his mind during the very segment; even Parcells has been muted in his criticism of Jerry post his 4 years, and you know that was the reason he moved on due to the TO signing….he had found his franchise QB, had a solid core of stud defensive players and he walks away? He decided that if could NOT order the groceries 100%, he wanted no part of the Jerry show…and sure enough, landed a better paying gig in Miami with outs if Huizenga sold the team.

        While Stephen has been a huge plus in reigning in his father in FA, the fact they let go 4 key starters on the defensive backfield (even as mediocre as they all were) is going to hurt this team going forward, there is no guarantee that even if they draft 4 DBs any of them will become legitimate starters in 2017; the offensive line core group is overdue for a season-long injury (Tyron is already dinged by back/neck issues), if that line is traumatized by injury, Dak and Zeke’s year will suddenly become ordinary which will affect the poor personnel on the defensive side of the ball.

        There is plenty of concern at the Star right now……….even with the infusion of the 2016 drafting success………..or maybe not, but the injury factor is such a huge issue in the NFL.

        • Ben Grimaldi

          You know what tho Shrek, I don’t think the delay was a big deal to Romo, he still praised Jones last week and retirement, as the NFL network’s Jen Slater said, was much more of an option and he was thinking about it since February. And I don’t care if Simms or anyone saw it coming, Simms is bad in the booth now and broadcasting isn’t a concern for me or the team anyway.

          Now the offseason has had some bumps but most teams are a serious injury away from being terrible…Oh, and Jones does hurt this franchise in many ways, hard to argue against that.

          • Steven Van Over

            Ben … apologize if this is off the mark, however I feel obligated to point out this is one of those times we thoroughly disagree.

            ” Simms is bad” …

            NOOOOO Simms is beyond bad .. ROFL .. he is awesomely bad. Magnificently horrible. Fantastically fucked.

            At this time you can now return to your normal broadcasting tributes.

            ok ok .. perhaps we disagree a weeeee bit 🙂 Or perhaps .. not at all ??

          • McShrek

            Not buying that Romo was OK with that………have seen several pundits state (including Kurt Warner that was shocked that Tony did not finish “the unfinished Business” of his career) that had Romo been released as Jerry promised that first week, he would be getting ready to play for the Texans………..but just like the Chargers drafting Bosa last year, leading to the Zeke selection which worked out amazingly well for the FO, did the recent events might have saved #9 from a quality life threatening injury

  • Lee1936

    Ben, I’m very grateful for your true and full and fair story of the common, careless, know-nothing attitudes among fans regarding Tony Romo.
    Thank you so much! I needed this.

    • daledoe

      So true Lee. I got to the point when people started bad mouthing Tony that I just told them that they didn’t have enough football iq to rate having a discussion with me on the topic.

  • daledoe

    I’ve wondered over the years if Crayton’s little miscues were just “business”.

  • Football Mensa

    Ben , true story. I got into a spat with Crayton on Twitter about his drops and the ill fated endzone route. He took exception with me. It was a strong discussion. I didn’t back down. I let him know Romo has had to carry the burden for his drops. My most hated Cowboy in franchise history.

    On the other hand. I think Jerry not releasing Romo is a BITC* move. Jerry knows Houston has a better d than Dallas. He knows Romo makes them instant contenders in the AFC. Houston is too close to Dallas and Jerry doesn’t like competition.

  • Taylor

    The only way I see Tony playing is if Dak blows a knee in training camp. Even then, it would be a hard call for him and the team. No way he gets a call in the middle of the season and signs with anyone.

    • McShrek

      For his sake, i hope you are right……….his body would not be in any football shape at all, leading to a massive injury potential.

    • Lee1936

      Taylor, I hope he never plays again, unless it’s with his kids or playing golf. I fear for his health, and couldn’t stand to see him hurt again.